KSC Contact: Joel Wells
Thursday, December 16, 1999

(3:30 p.m. EST)

MISSION: STS-103 – 3rd Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission

VEHICLE: Discovery/OV-103
TARGET KSC LAUNCH DATE/TIME: December 17 at 8:47 p.m. EST
TARGET LANDING DATE/TIME: December 26 at about 6:25 p.m. EST
LAUNCH WINDOW: 42 minutes
MISSION DURATION: about 8 days and 21 hours
CREW: Brown, Kelly, Smith, Foale, Grunsfeld, Nicollier, Clervoy
ORBITAL ALTITUDE and INCLINATION: 317 nautical miles/28.45 degrees

Work in progress: Space Shuttle managers today announced a 24-hour delay in
the launch of Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-103. The next launch
opportunity is at 8:47 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17. Shuttle engineers have
requested the additional time to confirm the quality control processes for
Arrowhead Products of Los Alamitos, California. Arrowhead is a vendor that
provides welded propellant lines to the Shuttle Program, including main
propulsion system (MPS) lines in the orbiter’s aft engine compartment.

On Tuesday, the vendor’s quality control personnel notified NASA of a
welding flaw on a pressure line being fabricated for use on a future
external tank. While Shuttle engineers have already exonerated Shuttle
Discovery’s external tank of any welding flaws, the on going evaluation will
confirm the quality of the procedures used to manufacture Shuttle MPS lines.
Though managers are confident in the structural integrity of Discovery’s MPS
lines, this evaluation is being conducted as a precaution.

Launch managers at KSC are not working any significant issues and stand
ready to support tomorrow’s launch opportunity. The countdown clock will
hold at the T-11 hour mark and a decision to begin tanking operations will
be made at about noon tomorrow. Weather officials indicate a 60 percent
chance that weather will prohibit tomorrow’s launch. The primary concern is
thick cloud layers and the possibility of coastal showers.


Commander (CDR): Curt Brown
Pilot (PLT): Scott Kelly
Mission Specialist (MS1): Steve Smith
Mission Specialist (MS2): Jean-Francois Clervoy
Mission Specialist (MS3): John Grunsfeld
Mission Specialist (MS4): Michael Foale
Mission Specialist (MS5): Claude Nicollier


Friday, December 17

11:00 a.m. Crew wake up
12:30 p.m. Breakfast
3:52 p.m.* Lunch/Photo opportunity
4:22 p.m. CDR, PLT, MS2 weather briefing
4:22 p.m. MS1, MS3, MS4, MS5 don launch and entry suits
4:32 p.m.* CDR, PLT, MS2 don launch and entry suits
5:02 p.m.* Depart for Launch Pad 39B
5:32 p.m.* Arrive at white room and begin ingress
6:47 p.m.* Close crew hatch
8:47 p.m.* Launch